The high crime of sug­gest­ing Obama is an ap­peaser

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - David Lim­baugh

Let me get this straight. It’s per­fectly fair for Barack Obama and his co­horts to re­peat­edly dis­par­age Pres­i­dent Bush’s for­eign pol­icy as “cow­boy diplo­macy” but un­speak­ably hor­rific for Mr. Bush to analo­gize the Democrats’ approach to for­eign pol­icy to ap­peas­ing Adolf Hitler?

When Mr. Obama com­pared Hil­lary Clin­ton’s threats against Iran to Pres­i­dent Bush’s threat­en­ing “blus­ter” and “cow­boy diplo­macy,” no one bat­ted an eye.

But when Mr. Bush, in ad­dress­ing Is­rael’s Knes­set, com­pared those who want to ne­go­ti­ate with to­day’s ter­ror­ists and tyrants to an Amer­i­can sen­a­tor in 1939 who lamented that Hitler’s march into Poland might have been avoided “if only I could have talked to Hitler,” Mr. Obama, other Democrats and the main­stream me­dia went bal­lis­tic.

What’s wrong with the pres­i­dent as­sur­ing our ma­jor Mid­dle East ally that, un­der his watch at least, Amer­ica will stand by it against our com­mon en­e­mies, such as the Holo­caust-deny­ing Ira­nian regime?

Well, plenty, if you lis­ten to Democrats and the main­stream me­dia. If Mr. Bush is ar­tic­u­lat­ing a po­si­tion with which they don’t agree, he is politi­ciz­ing for­eign pol­icy — an un­for­giv­able sin. Never mind that Democrats not only have been politi­ciz­ing for­eign pol­icy for the last seven years but also un­der­min­ing our of­fi­cial poli­cies in the process. Jimmy Carter’s in­ter­med­dling with Ha­mas, Nancy Pelosi’s jun­ket to Syria, and trips to Iraq by other De- mo­cratic mem­bers of Congress to sabotage U.S. pol­icy are but sev­eral egre­gious ex­am­ples.

CNN im­me­di­ately went into over­drive to protest Pres­i­dent Bush’s “smear­ing” of Mr. Obama. They also likened it to John McCain’s al­leged smear of Mr. Obama in ac­cu­rately re­port­ing Mr. Obama was Ha­mas’ choice for pres­i­dent.

Democrats in­clud­ing Tom Daschle, Joe Bi­den, John Kerry and Dick Durbin were ou­traged that Mr. Bush in­serted him­self into the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign. There go th­ese pro­ject­ing Democrats again — al­ways ac­cus­ing Repub­li­cans of com­mit­ting sins they in­vented. While Mr. Bush is free to politic all he wants to, I don’t be­lieve that’s pri­mar­ily what he was up to here.

Un­hap­pily for Democrats, Mr. Bush is still pres­i­dent, and it re­mains his job to quar­ter­back Amer­i­can for­eign pol­icy. In mak­ing a for­eign pol­icy speech in Is­rael, it is wholly ap­pro­pri­ate, in­deed nec­es­sary, for him to make his strong­est case in sup­port of his poli­cies.

In mak­ing his case to stand tough against ter­ror­ists — a case he has been mak­ing with­out in­ter­rup­tion since Sept. 11, 2001, dur- ing and in be­tween elec­tion cy­cles — it is per­fectly log­i­cal and es­sen­tial for him to men­tion, and re­fute, the op­po­si­tion party’s crit­i­cisms of his pol­icy. It’s part of how you sell your po­si­tion.

Democrats can choose to in­ter­pret ev­ery­thing through their par­ti­san prism, but Mr. Bush was wear­ing his pres­i­den­tial cap in Is­rael and was stump­ing not for John McCain, but for the United States of Amer­ica. It’s too bad, but un­der­stand­able, that Democrats so of­ten find them­selves on the wrong side of our na­tional in­ter­ests. Pres­i­dent Bush was act­ing abun­dantly pres­i­den­tial and in fur­ther­ance of our na­tional in­ter­ests when as­sur­ing Is­rael and warn­ing Iran that we will stand by our clos­est Mid­dle East­ern ally.

Not only is it fair for Mr. Bush to make this point but also it is late in com­ing. Democrats have been en­joy­ing a free ride on this is­sue for years, and it’s time they were con­fronted on it — ag­gres­sively. Th­ese are the peo­ple who can say what­ever they want about Pres­i­dent Bush, Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan but cry foul when any­one even hints at hold­ing them ac­count­able for their reck­less­ness.

They are rarely taken to task for their ir­re­spon­si­ble “plans” to with­draw our troops from Iraq — no mat­ter what our gen­er­als say and ab­so­lutely ir­re­spec­tive of the deathly con­se­quences that in- evitably would fol­low.

Though Mr. Obama’s paci­fist armies ob­ject to char­ac­ter­iz­ing him as an ap­peaser, he proved it again this week in his re­marks to Democrats in my home­town of Cape Gi­rardeau, Mo., in say­ing NATO hasn’t pro­vided enough troops to help us in Afghanistan be­cause “they are still an­gry about us go­ing into Iraq.” Im­plicit in his state­ment was his opin­ion that NATO is jus­ti­fied not only in be­ing an­gry at us but also in not help­ing us in Afghanistan.

Shouldn’t we ex­pect our Amer­i­can lead­ers not to de­fend NATO in this sit­u­a­tion, re­gard­less of its mis­placed “anger” about Iraq? Shouldn’t NATO’s de­ci­sion to help in Afghanistan be gov­erned solely by whether it’s the right thing to do? Shouldn’t Mr. Obama con­demn, in­stead of pro­vide cover for, NATO’s dere­lic­tion of duty here?

The an­swer is an un­qual­i­fied yes, but Mr. Obama’s in­stinct — in line with that of the en­tire Demo­cratic lead­er­ship — is to blame Amer­ica first. That’s not just a bumper sticker; it is the sad re­al­ity, proved time and time again.

If I were Pres­i­dent Bush and Democrats ac­cused me of la­bel­ing them as ap­peasers, I would say: “Guilty as charged. And I’m just get­ting warmed up. And I fully ex­pect John McCain to fol­low my lead. Let’s have this de­bate out in the open. Noth­ing is more im­por­tant to Amer­ica’s fu­ture.”

David Lim­baugh is a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated colum­nist.

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